The Curious Case of the "Round Bottom" Explorer Coronet>>>

Vintage Rolex Discussion

The Curious Case of the "Round Bottom" Explorer Coronet>>>

Joined: May 7th, 2006, 5:02 pm

February 24th, 2012, 11:07 pm #1

Bas's 6610 below is very interesting to me:



Why is this 6610 dial marked T SWISS T? Could it be an early service dial, as this is certainly an atypical notation on a 6610, AFAIK, a model reference that predates the "T" marking era by several years?

It got me wondering if this type of "Round Bottom" Coronet Explorer dial, which we see right up until the end of the minute track era, might itself indicate a "new lume" dial, that is to say, a replacement and/or one with reapplied or tested-safe luminous.

For example, some more Explorers with extremely similar Coronet & top dial text:

5504 SCOC w/Underline posted by Marcello:


1016 Underline, 915,k SN & II.63 (my watch):


1016 Underline and Ex Point, 9xx,k SN (posted by Terence Ho in the Archive):


Another 6610 without T markings and definitely different type of lume (posted by Dab from the Archive) with this very interesting notation:
"This Explorer came with box + guarantee dated 5-2-60 and a chronometer certificate dated September 21, 1957" i.e. sent for Chronometer testing in the late 50s but not actually sold until the middle of 1960 (plenty of time to have the dial pulled and/or relumed).



And now Bas's 6610 with neither Underline or Ex Point and with different OCC but same Coronet & marked T for Tritum!


Maybe Rolex were using up old 6610 dials for the "new" 1016? But that still wouldn't explain "T SWISS T" here which, aside from not being found on 6610 dials is not reallly found on Explorer I's either, i.e. it is invariably "SWISS T-25." T SWISS T would more likely be an early prototype marking or the Ts were added after the rest of the dial had been printed.

Could it be time to bust out that Geiger counter again, Bas & the Dutch Boys?
Best,
T.

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Joined: May 28th, 2007, 5:43 pm

February 24th, 2012, 11:32 pm #2

I just assumed it was about a 65 service dial.
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Joined: May 7th, 2006, 5:02 pm

February 25th, 2012, 12:05 am #3



And really, how many "T SWISS T" Tool Rolex dials have you seen? Doesn't happen in a standard fashion until the 1655, AFAIK.
Best,
T.

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Joined: May 28th, 2007, 5:43 pm

February 25th, 2012, 12:30 am #4

I had a 65 1005 and it had T SWISS T...so I was just assuming
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Joined: July 25th, 2010, 6:16 am

February 25th, 2012, 2:08 am #5

Bas's 6610 below is very interesting to me:



Why is this 6610 dial marked T SWISS T? Could it be an early service dial, as this is certainly an atypical notation on a 6610, AFAIK, a model reference that predates the "T" marking era by several years?

It got me wondering if this type of "Round Bottom" Coronet Explorer dial, which we see right up until the end of the minute track era, might itself indicate a "new lume" dial, that is to say, a replacement and/or one with reapplied or tested-safe luminous.

For example, some more Explorers with extremely similar Coronet & top dial text:

5504 SCOC w/Underline posted by Marcello:


1016 Underline, 915,k SN & II.63 (my watch):


1016 Underline and Ex Point, 9xx,k SN (posted by Terence Ho in the Archive):


Another 6610 without T markings and definitely different type of lume (posted by Dab from the Archive) with this very interesting notation:
"This Explorer came with box + guarantee dated 5-2-60 and a chronometer certificate dated September 21, 1957" i.e. sent for Chronometer testing in the late 50s but not actually sold until the middle of 1960 (plenty of time to have the dial pulled and/or relumed).



And now Bas's 6610 with neither Underline or Ex Point and with different OCC but same Coronet & marked T for Tritum!


Maybe Rolex were using up old 6610 dials for the "new" 1016? But that still wouldn't explain "T SWISS T" here which, aside from not being found on 6610 dials is not reallly found on Explorer I's either, i.e. it is invariably "SWISS T-25." T SWISS T would more likely be an early prototype marking or the Ts were added after the rest of the dial had been printed.

Could it be time to bust out that Geiger counter again, Bas & the Dutch Boys?
Best,
T.
Atypical of a CR Explorer of that era...
Last edited by munchiew on February 25th, 2012, 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 13th, 2003, 8:29 pm

February 25th, 2012, 8:37 am #6

I had a 65 1005 and it had T SWISS T...so I was just assuming
nt

Kind regards,
O.E.
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Joined: July 9th, 2004, 2:59 pm

February 25th, 2012, 10:26 am #7

Bas's 6610 below is very interesting to me:



Why is this 6610 dial marked T SWISS T? Could it be an early service dial, as this is certainly an atypical notation on a 6610, AFAIK, a model reference that predates the "T" marking era by several years?

It got me wondering if this type of "Round Bottom" Coronet Explorer dial, which we see right up until the end of the minute track era, might itself indicate a "new lume" dial, that is to say, a replacement and/or one with reapplied or tested-safe luminous.

For example, some more Explorers with extremely similar Coronet & top dial text:

5504 SCOC w/Underline posted by Marcello:


1016 Underline, 915,k SN & II.63 (my watch):


1016 Underline and Ex Point, 9xx,k SN (posted by Terence Ho in the Archive):


Another 6610 without T markings and definitely different type of lume (posted by Dab from the Archive) with this very interesting notation:
"This Explorer came with box + guarantee dated 5-2-60 and a chronometer certificate dated September 21, 1957" i.e. sent for Chronometer testing in the late 50s but not actually sold until the middle of 1960 (plenty of time to have the dial pulled and/or relumed).



And now Bas's 6610 with neither Underline or Ex Point and with different OCC but same Coronet & marked T for Tritum!


Maybe Rolex were using up old 6610 dials for the "new" 1016? But that still wouldn't explain "T SWISS T" here which, aside from not being found on 6610 dials is not reallly found on Explorer I's either, i.e. it is invariably "SWISS T-25." T SWISS T would more likely be an early prototype marking or the Ts were added after the rest of the dial had been printed.

Could it be time to bust out that Geiger counter again, Bas & the Dutch Boys?
Best,
T.
I would not necessarily have expected T<25, but T Swiss T.

regards

John
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Joined: September 8th, 2003, 7:26 am

February 25th, 2012, 10:40 am #8

Bas's 6610 below is very interesting to me:



Why is this 6610 dial marked T SWISS T? Could it be an early service dial, as this is certainly an atypical notation on a 6610, AFAIK, a model reference that predates the "T" marking era by several years?

It got me wondering if this type of "Round Bottom" Coronet Explorer dial, which we see right up until the end of the minute track era, might itself indicate a "new lume" dial, that is to say, a replacement and/or one with reapplied or tested-safe luminous.

For example, some more Explorers with extremely similar Coronet & top dial text:

5504 SCOC w/Underline posted by Marcello:


1016 Underline, 915,k SN & II.63 (my watch):


1016 Underline and Ex Point, 9xx,k SN (posted by Terence Ho in the Archive):


Another 6610 without T markings and definitely different type of lume (posted by Dab from the Archive) with this very interesting notation:
"This Explorer came with box + guarantee dated 5-2-60 and a chronometer certificate dated September 21, 1957" i.e. sent for Chronometer testing in the late 50s but not actually sold until the middle of 1960 (plenty of time to have the dial pulled and/or relumed).



And now Bas's 6610 with neither Underline or Ex Point and with different OCC but same Coronet & marked T for Tritum!


Maybe Rolex were using up old 6610 dials for the "new" 1016? But that still wouldn't explain "T SWISS T" here which, aside from not being found on 6610 dials is not reallly found on Explorer I's either, i.e. it is invariably "SWISS T-25." T SWISS T would more likely be an early prototype marking or the Ts were added after the rest of the dial had been printed.

Could it be time to bust out that Geiger counter again, Bas & the Dutch Boys?
Best,
T.
Great thread, dear Tom !!

For me it is also a little mystery, but i tend to not believe on a Service dial here! The design of the dial is a typical late 50s - but of course i do not know why it is a T SWISS T !!!?
Anyway, very very interesting !!

Have a great WE!
Werner


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Joined: December 20th, 2006, 7:02 pm

February 25th, 2012, 12:05 pm #9

Bas's 6610 below is very interesting to me:



Why is this 6610 dial marked T SWISS T? Could it be an early service dial, as this is certainly an atypical notation on a 6610, AFAIK, a model reference that predates the "T" marking era by several years?

It got me wondering if this type of "Round Bottom" Coronet Explorer dial, which we see right up until the end of the minute track era, might itself indicate a "new lume" dial, that is to say, a replacement and/or one with reapplied or tested-safe luminous.

For example, some more Explorers with extremely similar Coronet & top dial text:

5504 SCOC w/Underline posted by Marcello:


1016 Underline, 915,k SN & II.63 (my watch):


1016 Underline and Ex Point, 9xx,k SN (posted by Terence Ho in the Archive):


Another 6610 without T markings and definitely different type of lume (posted by Dab from the Archive) with this very interesting notation:
"This Explorer came with box + guarantee dated 5-2-60 and a chronometer certificate dated September 21, 1957" i.e. sent for Chronometer testing in the late 50s but not actually sold until the middle of 1960 (plenty of time to have the dial pulled and/or relumed).



And now Bas's 6610 with neither Underline or Ex Point and with different OCC but same Coronet & marked T for Tritum!


Maybe Rolex were using up old 6610 dials for the "new" 1016? But that still wouldn't explain "T SWISS T" here which, aside from not being found on 6610 dials is not reallly found on Explorer I's either, i.e. it is invariably "SWISS T-25." T SWISS T would more likely be an early prototype marking or the Ts were added after the rest of the dial had been printed.

Could it be time to bust out that Geiger counter again, Bas & the Dutch Boys?
Best,
T.
I have geiger the watch , no radiation.
So it must be tritium ( Tritium, you can not measure with a normal geiger counter)

Al the gilt tekst is print under the Lacquer, and the OCC ( printed in silver) up the lacquer.
So the T swiss T is not printed later on the dail like the underline.

This 6610 is from IV 61, so it is a very late one.
So i think it is the laast serie dial for the 6610, or first serie service dial.

Cheers,

Bas.nl
Last edited by B.7924 on February 25th, 2012, 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 7th, 2006, 5:02 pm

February 25th, 2012, 5:46 pm #10

...sometimes a watch is posted that is so interesting that it demands further attention!
So from what you have told us we can begin to make some conclusions, I think.

1) As our good friend Werner points out, this is certainly a 1950s-style layout and yet found in a 1961 6610 and with a lot of textual commonality with the next series of Explorer dials, i.e. same coronet, top dial text. So we can see that at this time Rolex could use the same dial print, and in fact return to it, for perhaps as long as 5 years or so. This is also analogous and borne out, I think, by so-called "old font" Submariners, i.e. the early 5512 with extremely similar fonts as the earlier 6538 BC Subs. And also this is true of the first 1675 with OCC, essentially exactly like the last 6542. And additionally why one can find the Round Bottom Coronet on late 6610 and 1016s up until 1963 (with other dial styles thrown in the mix, as well!).

2) Within their printing process at this time, it appears Rolex were able to make tweaks to the cliche or cliches, enabling different lume plots, minute tracks and SWISS text while keeping essentially the exact same top text. This would also apply to the switch from OCC to SCOC text and the new T markings. So no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as it were, when a change was made. In a multiple stage printing process, Rolex (and their dial manufacturer) could change certain specs to reflect current needs while leaving other aspects of the dial exactly as they were the previous generation.

3) In the case of your particular watch, Bas, we have a super rare combo: the latest produced 6610, a "new lume" dial and marked T SWISS T, which the Tool watches never were. This strongly indicates to me that: Rolex were still fiddling with how to apply the soon-to-be mandatory T markings and either A) had not decided how they were going to do it exactly or B) had not yet got the trademark that they were looking for to make "SWISS T-25" proprietary to them and/or indicative of a special Tritium luminous compound exclusive to their highly luminous Tool watches and suitable for military applications. The presence of the originally printed T SWISS T in 1961 strongly indicates that yours is a prototype T-marked dial and certainly the earliest I have seen.

Thanks again for sharing this really significant Explorer with us--I really feel it is another piece of the early 1960s Rolex puzzle!
All the best,
Tom


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